16 May 2011 Novel handheld x-ray fluorescence spectrometer for routine testing for the presence of lead
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Abstract
RMD is developing a safe, inexpensive, and easy to operate lead detector for retailers and consumers that can reliably detect dangerous levels of lead in toys and other household products. Lead and its compounds have been rated as top chemicals that pose a great threat to human health. However, widespread testing for environmental lead is rarely undertaken until lead poisoning has already been diagnosed. The problem is not due to the accuracy or sensitivity of existing lead detection technology, but rather to the high expense, safety and licensing barriers of available test equipment. An inexpensive and easy to use lead detector would enable the identification of highly contaminated objects and areas and allow for timely and cost effective remediation. The military has similar needs for testing for lead and other heavy elements such as mercury, primarily in the decontamination of former military properties prior to their return to civilian use. RMD's research and development efforts are abased on advanced solid-state detectors combined with recently patented lead detection techniques to develop a consumer oriented lead detector that will be widely available and easy and inexpensive to use. These efforts will result in an instrument that offers: (1) high sensitivity, to identify objects containing dangerous amounts of lead, (2) low cost to encourage widespread testing by consumers and other end users and (3) convenient operation requiring no training or licensing. In contrast, current handheld x-ray fluorescence spectrometers either use a radioactive source requiring licensing and operating training, or use an electronic x-ray source that limits their sensitivity to surface lead.
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Noa M. Rensing, Timothy C. Tiernan, Michael R. Squillante, "Novel handheld x-ray fluorescence spectrometer for routine testing for the presence of lead", Proc. SPIE 8029, Sensing Technologies for Global Health, Military Medicine, Disaster Response, and Environmental Monitoring; and Biometric Technology for Human Identification VIII, 80291I (16 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.885553; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.885553
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